René Groebli is the missing link in the Swiss photographic history of the second half of the 20th century. He merges romanticism in photography with the visions of a technician, the modernist. His decisive publications were made years before those of Robert Frank. In their power they are his equal, as to their impact the works of Groebli are yet to be discovered. Be prepared for surprises.”
Daniel Muscionico, excerpt from her text «The Free Handed Photographer» for the book «René Groebli – Early Work (1945-1955)», published by Sturm & Drang, 2015.
He is a blind spot. Perhaps he is the proverbial blind spot, the «Missing Link» in the history of modern Swiss photography. The first to notice him was the American photographer and curator Edward Steichen, the visionary Steichen who had towards the end of the 1940s established at the New York Museum of Modern Art the first photography department world-wide. For the museum’s collection he acquired Groebli’s image poem «Das Auge der Liebe» (The Eye of Love). Rene Groebli was part of the monumental MoMA exhibition «The Family of Man» (1955), the attempt at an all-encompassing portrait of humanity that until today travels around the world. Steichen’s successor John Szarkowski in turn integrated Groebli in his exhibition «The Photographer’s Eye» (1964) and gave him a special place in the publication of the same name.
René Groebli, Early works 1945 – 1955
September 3 – October 22, 2016
in focus Galerie